What you need to know
- Google announced five new ways to utilize Google Wallet.
- These include adding state IDs, saving passes, tickets, and more.
- Users can save physical passes to Wallet from an image with a barcode or QR code.
Google Wallet returned last year, replacing Google Pay in many countries. In less than a year, Google is now introducing new ways to take full advantage of its Wallet app.
In the announcement blog post, Google Wallet’s VP and GM Jenny Cheng says that users will now be able to add any pass that has a barcode or QR code on it to the Wallet app. She says this will be a convenient method to digitize everyday items for quick access on your phone like gym membership cards. The feature is also “helpful for passes like transit QR tickets, parking passes or e-commerce return QR codes.”
Google Wallet further gains support for health insurance cards and other private passes. The search giant is collaborating with Humana, an American health insurance company, to design a digital version of a health insurance card that can be saved to Google Wallet. Similarly, people in the U.K. can store their National Insurance Number in Google Wallet via the HMRC app.
Google wants to safeguard these cards and passes by labeling them as “private passes” in the Wallet app. Additionally, users can protect them through their biometrics, PIN, and Patterns.
While we already know how to add Student IDs to Google Wallet, we were anticipating the ability to add driver’s licenses or personal IDs. This will now be available to consumers with Maryland ID or driver’s license starting today.
The saved Maryland-issued IDs on Google Wallet can also be used at TSA PreCheck lines at select airports, notes Google.
Users must be on an Android phone running Android 8.0 and above to work effectively. They also should have their devices’ lock enabled. Google further wants to expand the possibilities of these saved IDs for online verification services next to simple tasks such as booking a cab with Turo.
After Maryland, Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia, residents are said to be joining the list in the coming months.
After student IDs and driver’s licenses, Google wants to add users’ company IDs alongside access badges to the Google Wallet. The search giant could soon incorporate corporate badges, giving employees easy ways to access buildings and cafeterias.
Lastly, Android phone users can save their passes, such as boarding passes and train tickets received through Google Messages (with RCS-enabled), directly to Google Wallet. The rollout is said to be starting with Vietnam Airlines for boarding passes and Renfe, Spain’s leading train operator for train tickets.
Not only that, but more countries like Germany can save their transit tickets to Wallet for nationwide access to public transportation.
“Similarly, restaurants can use reservation systems like TagMe to send reservation details to their customers that can be saved to the Wallet for future use.”
With all these novel approaches being introduced today, Google is working to lessen the need for conventional wallets and increase consumer reliance on Android phones, which certainly has a convenience factor. In the upcoming weeks, Google Wallet will be available in additional countries worldwide. It now includes 60 nations.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.